grimaldi-groupDespite the current economic situation in southern Europe, and low vehicle sales in Italy, the Italian port of Livorno is set to grow thanks to new investment. 
Italian maritime groups Grimaldi and Fremura have announced joint investment at the port, with an aim of strengthening terminal facilities, including those for ro-ro traffic. Atlantica SpA di Navigazione – part of the Grimaldi Group – has increased its capital share in Co.I.FL. – part of the Fremura Group, by 50%.

Co.I.FL, meanwhile, has a 33% share in Sintermar, a terminal operator active in the port of Livorno.

Grimaldi is also active at the port of Livorno and has been since 1968, currently serving the port with ro-pax and ro-ro vessels. Last year Grimaldi handled 238,000 vehicle units, made up of passenger cars, vans, trucks and trailers, which was an increase of 6% when compared to 2012. 

Overall at the port, import figures for vehicles last year totalled 281,720 (down 1.1% from 2012), and export figures were at 66,297 (down 6.9% from 2012). The total figure for inbound and outbound units reached 348,012 (down 2.3% from 2012). Despite a general decline in numbers at the port, Grimaldi Group’s figures were up, and accounted for just over 80% of vehicles handled at the port in 2013.

This year, Grimaldi is expected to call at the port of Livorno around 770 times, and about 300,000 units are expected to go through the port in 2014. This is an increase of 27% compared to 2013. The Group also expects the volume of trailers to increase by 120% when compared to 2011 figures. 

A spokesperson from Grimaldi told Automotive Logistics, "In the last 15 years we have invested in new vessels and continually improved facilities at about 20 terminals worldwide, which is important for the logistics chain. 

"In order to offer competitive and state of the art transport services, we need to be able to offer high quality maritime services, and be able to offer terminal services to our customers.

"The latest investment allows us to grow in Livorno which is an important port to us, not only for the transport of new vehicles, but also in recent years we have developed movement in the western Mediterranean, and Livorno plays an important role in the traffic from Spain and Morocco. With the entrance of the company, we can develop traffic flows, and make the investment in terminals."

Although the European automotive climate has been difficult over the past few years, there is still huge diversity across the region, and there have been small flickers of improvement this year. Port activity has held up reasonably well. In Automotive Logistics’ annual survey of European ports handling new vehicle movements, Livorno's volume outperformed the Italian market last year, handling 281,700 new vehicles (excluding trucks and trailers) in imports, exports and transhipments, 1% fewer than the year before.